Did you know that as odd as it may seem, eating pumpkin seeds regularly and in particular before bedtime will help you to sleep? Pumpkin seeds are an exceptionally high source of tryptophan. Tryptophan is a natural substance, an amino acid, and one of the building blocks of protein. Tryptophan helps the brain to manufacture the hormone serotonin. serotonin is the happy chemical that helps you keep your moods under control, calms anxiety, and helps you sleep. Low levels of serotonin in your system can lead to insomnia, fatigue, and depression.
When you combine tryptophan with a carbohydrate, you will find that you will fall asleep relatively quickly and reduce the time awakened in the middle of the night significantly. It’s no wonder we all want to curl up and fall asleep after a big Thanksgiving dinner.
Pumpkin seeds, with their high content of tryptophan, have a calming effect on the body, which in turn reduces anxiety and stress, allows for improved mental function, and increased, more relaxed sleep. Making a habit of eating pumpkin seeds, whether you eat raw pumpkin seeds or roasted pumpkin seeds will be beneficial to you in other ways. The health benefits of pumpkin seeds are many.
Protein and Essential Fatty Acids – Pumpkin seeds are high in both. Essential fatty acids provide numerous health benefits like protection against high blood pressure and arthritis as well as promoting healthy skin.
Vitamins – The high amount of Vitamin A, C and E contribute to healthy glowing skin. A cup of pumpkin seeds per day will keep your skin hydrated and nourished and help prevent wrinkles. Additionally the beta-carotene in pumpkin seeds is an antioxidant and can provide relief from
inflammation, without the side effects of anti-inflammatory medications.
Minerals – Pumpkin seeds are a good dietary source of magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, and zinc.
Phytosterols – Pumpkin seeds have a significant amount of this compound which acts to reduce cholesterol in you blood and is therefore helpful in reducing the risk heart disease.
Roasting pumpkin seeds is very easy to do. I will give you a basic recipe from that you can add any extra seasoning you like from garlic powder to chili powder it’s up to you.
- 1 quart water
- pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Wash your pumpkin seeds (get all of the pumpkin off them).
- Boil 1 quart of water.
- After water has boiled, place the clean seeds and 1/8 cup of salt into water for 10 minutes- stir the whole time.
- Melt 2 Tbs of butter.
- Drain the seeds and mix them with the butter (add some salt if you want).
- Place the seeds on a 2 layer tin foiled pan and place in oven at 350 F for 30 minutes.
- Do not refrigerate seeds- put them in a sealed bowl and leave them on the kitchen table.